Cork 1-11 Kilkenny 0-12
A GOAL on 60 minutes from substitute Rachel O’Regan was enough to get Cork over the line at John Locks GAA Grounds in Callan in the Division 2 Littlewood's National League opener.
It was nip and tuck in the opening 30 minutes as the sides got to grips with the game but through the opening half Mark McCarthy’s side stayed in touch with the home side.
Hayley Ryan was again unerring on target with five opening half points four from places balls and one from play whilst Moira Barrett opened the Cork account with a point.
Afton Grace was to the fore for the Kilkenny girls with thee points two from frees and one form play whilst Eva Hynes with two and Aoife Prendergast with one ensured it was level pegging 0-6 each at the interval as nothing divided the teams.
Kilkenny made a good start to the second half with four early points Afton Grace and Jenny Clifford had one each and two in a row from Mary O’Connell in between a Hayley Ryan Cork point edged Kilkenny 0-10 to 0-7 in front 13 minutes in.
Rachel Harty and Linda Dorgan kept the scoreboard ticking over for Cork with a point each to cut the Kilkenny lead to two points as the game entered the final quarter.
Afton Grace, who was prominent for the home sides hit two points to put her side three points ahead on with six minutes remaining and now was the time to try and close the game out but they met stern resistance from a determined Cork side.
Holding their composure, Cork kept working hard, Hayley Ryan narrowed the gap to two points before substitutes Rachel O’Regan struck for the only goal of the game following good work by Kate Wall.
Three minutes into added time, Hayley Ryan converted a free to put two between the sides and it ensure a two point victory for Cork to get their campaign off to the perfect start.
In the other game in their group, Meath recorded a 1-8 to 0-4 victory over Westmeath at home. Meath will come to Castle Road on Saturday next for a game that is sure to have a big bearing on the eventual outcome of this group.
Scorers for Cork: H Ryan 0-8 (0-5 f), R O’Regan 1-0, M Barrett, R Harty, L Dorgan 0-1 each.
Kilkenny: A Grace 0-6 (0-4 f) E Hynes, M O'Connell 0-2 each, J Clifford A Prendergast 0-1 each.
CORK: S Aherne; C Daly, N O’Leary, A Crowley; A Maloney, A O’Callaghan, R Killeen; L Dorgan, K Dooley; M Barrett, R Harty, N O’Riordain; H Ryan, K O’Keefe, A Hurley.
Subs: G Hannon for R Killeen, K Wall for K O’ Keeffe, R O’Regan for A Hurley, M Murphy for N O’Riordan.
KILKENNY: E Phelan; E Naddy; C O’Shea, A O’Gorman; M Bambrick, A Prendergast, C Nolan; A Curtis, M Kennedy; C Phelan, A Nolan, E Hynes; A Grace, K Comerford, J Clifford.
Subs: M O’Connell for C Phelan, C Dowling for A Nolan, A Phelan for M Kennedy, M Doherty for K Comerford, S Keoghan for M Bambrick, H Scott for A Grace.
Referee: Justin Heffernan (Wexford).